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Chapter 4: Ved and his student Uttanka

Posted by Arun Mohan ~ on ~ 0 comments

Like his guru, Ved also became a teacher and he had several students. But he had never asked them for a test to prove their devotion, since he does not like his students to suffer for him. He is also serving as a priest to King Janamejaya and King Paushya. One among his brilliant students is Uttanka.

One day, Ved appointed Uttanka to take care of the house since he wants to leave his house for priestly duty. Uttanka obeyed what his master said and took the control of the house. Days passed and when he returned, he heard a lot of praise for Uttanka. Impressed with his decent behavior, he wished and given the permission to leave the hermitage and to built his carrier. Uttanka bowed to his guru and inquired what to give in return as Guru Dakshina. Ved first refused but due to Uttanka’s persistence, he said to ask guru’s wife. Uttanka then turned to guru’s wife and asked the same. She smiled and said to bring a pair of earrings from the queen of King Paushya. There is a need for her to wear those earrings in the banquet conducted for Brahmins after four days. She also said that if he failed to perform this task, he would not be successful.

Uttanka set out for King Paushya’s palace. On the way, a tall man sitting on a bull asked him to eat the bull’s dung. Uttanka refused it but the man convinced him by saying that his Guru already ate this when he asked to eat. Hearing this, Uttanka ate it and on the way to palace he washed his mouth. Finally he reached the king’s palace. He then introduced himself and requested the earrings of queen for giving gift as Guru Dakshina. The king sent him to queen’s palace. Uttanka searched for queen in the palace, but he failed to find her. Then he went to king and complained that the queen is not there. The King replied that her queen is a pious woman and anybody who is indecent or unclean can’t see her. Uttanka suddenly remember the incident happened on the way and he narrated it to the king. The king instructs him to dip in the holy water for three times and also to wash the mouth for two times. After performing the rituals, he went to queen and this time he saw the queen. The queen greeted him and presented the food and drink. Uttanka then tell his teacher’s wife’s demand to the queen. The queen gave the earrings to Uttanka with a warning that Takshaka wanted these earrings. So there is a chance for robbery.

Uttanka expressed his gratitude towards king and the queen for their kindness. He then started his return to Guru’s hermitage. On the way, a snake started to follow him. The snake would sometimes appear and then disappear. Uttanka noticed it and he remembered queen’s warning. After long walk, he felt thirsty. Then he placed the earrings in land to drink water. The serpent was waiting for that opportunity and it snatched it and disappeared. Uttanka recognizes the serpent that robed the earrings was none other than Takshaka, the king of serpents. Uttank summoned the Vajra (the weapon of Indra) and with its help he chased Takshak to the land of snakes. Terrified with the power of Uttanka, Takshaka returned the earrings. Uttanka then returned to the hermitage of his guru on time and presented it to Guru’s wife. He then fell into the legs of Guru’s wife and received her blessings. But he could not forgive Takshaka for his devious behavior.

Later he came to Hastinapur and pays a visit to King Janamejaya, who was just returned after the victorious invasion of Takshasila from the Nagas headed by Takshaka. Uttanka then informed the king that his father was killed by Takshaka. A sage called Kashyap can save his father from the poison. When the sage decided to visit the palace for treatment, Takshaka tricked him into going back. Uttanka then encouraged King Janamejaya to conduct a Yajna to burn the Takshaka and other sinner snakes into ashes.


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